Lateral diffusion of the total polar lipids from Thermoplasma acidophilum in multilamellar liposomes
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31P NMR lineshapes of multilamellar liposomes composed mostly of a bilayer-spanning tetraether lipid are consistent with rapid axially symmetric motion about the bilayer normal. The residual chemical shift anisotropy of 36 ppm is comparable to that seen for diacylphosphatidylglycerol systems and suggests comparable headgroup motion. The lateral diffusion rates for Thermoplasma acidophilum total polar lipids in mutilamellar liposomes was measured by two dimensional exchange NMR as a function of temperature. At 55 degrees C, near the growth temperature, the rate of lateral diffusion, DL, is comparable to that of diester phospholipids in the Lalpha liquid crystalline phase, having a value of 2 x 10(-8) cm2/s. DL decreases with temperature reaching a value of 8-6 x 10(-9) cm2/s at 30 degrees C. The activation energy Ea for lateral diffusion is estimated to be 10 kcal/mol (approximately 42 kJ/mol). The lateral diffusion rates indicate that the tetraether liposomes have a membrane viscosity at 30 degrees C which is considerably higher than that of diester phospholipids in the liquid crystalline phase.
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